Cash, Branded Rewards, VIP Experiences, Exclusive Access, Promo Codes, and Product Gifting are the six forms of influencer payouts and incentives available to creators. While cash is the preferred method of payment for influencer fees, no single incentive is fundamentally superior to the others. Examine your present or planned program to determine which approaches will have the greatest impact, considering your budget and the product or service you want to market.

The methods preferred by influencers and brands

Cash Payment

A cheque, PayPal payment, or other types of money transfer is used when a brand compensates a creator for sponsored content. Influencers often prefer cash as a method of payment. Just because you're paying influencers to promote your brand doesn't mean you have to spend all of your influencer marketing budgets on them.

Branded Rewards

When a brand compensates a creator with special merchandise, swag, product samples, or gift cards, this is known as branded rewards. Users will receive a free branded product in exchange for creating an organic post to share with their online networks, rather than a generic monetary incentive. This indicates that people are genuinely interested in your brand, resulting in more genuine posts.

Branded incentives can also be used to re-engage your influencers in the client journey. Gift cards, for example, can be utilized toward a future purchase, swag can increase your influencers' offline impact, and product samples are the next reviews in line. At each level, you're adding value while also building new touchpoints.

VIP Experience Reward

When a business compensates a creator with a unique experience such as event tickets, free or discounted vacation accommodations, or entertainment activities, this is known as a VIP experience. Purchasing something is an emotional decision. In contrast to items, experiential incentives and rewards have the ability to engage the senses and elicit good feelings. They become memories that your influencers identify with your brand, increasing brand affinity, sentiment, and customer value over time. Objects, on the other hand, have the opposite effect: once obtained, desire declines exponentially as attention goes to the next thing to acquire.

Your brand will also be more aligned with today's cultural norms if you use experiences. Consumers' wealth, affluence, and the concept of a well-lived life are measured by what they have done rather than what they have.

Access Rewards

When a brand provides a creator with early, discounted, or exclusive access to new and existing items or services, this is known as exclusive access payment. Consumers today want to access, not products, in a similar vein of experiences. The proof can be seen in some of today's most prosperous businesses.

They all have one thing in common: they give customers to access. Whoever can provide the easiest/fastest/best/strongest access will win the struggle for consumer engagement. You establish an innate cycle of motivation to remain influential and strengthen their brand devotion by paying influencers with direct channels of access to your brand, products, or desired experiences.

Providing them Promo Codes for products

When a brand compensates a creator through related discounts or special offers on brand items or services, this is known as a promo code payment. One of the most commonly asked issues is how do you know that after someone has been demonstrated to be influential for your business, they will remain influential? What you don't want is for your influencers to start spamming their entire following and lose their influence.

One approach to avoid this is to offer always-on promo codes and benefits in exchange for your influencers continuing to add value to your business. As with many employee advocacy and brand ambassador programs, they will retain access to the award as long as they stay influential.

Gifting Products to them

When a brand compensates a creator in a unique way with a product or product samples, this is known as gifting. To enrich the compensation experience, products are frequently styled in gift baskets or supplemented by other products. Because of the expenses, value-driven nature, and enhanced control given by product giving and sampling, it should be used judiciously. Product samples can be more expensive than promo codes and other branded rewards, depending on your brand and vertical. This is generally due to fulfillment costs alone.

When it comes to activating influencers to create content, gifting or sample programs give you complete control over the product and posting parameters you want influencers to follow while yet giving them a creative license. It's also a chance for your influencer program to identify and reward high-quality content creators.

Incentives based on the performance of a campaign

When a brand compensates a creator based on important metrics of content performance like impressions, engagements, or clicks, this is known as performance-based incentives. This strategy is used by brands to gamify cooperation and inspire influencers to generate powerful content. In other words, rather than getting awarded solely for sharing or producing engagements, a company can reward influencers when they produce a transaction. This is especially true when running an affiliate program.

Surprise and delight payment strategy

When brands compensate artists with unexpected products or presents, this is known as a surprise and delight payment method. This technique is used by brands to boost favorable sentiment and build long-term connections with influencers. If a brand has a limited incentive and rewards budget, or if passionate influencers don't need a robust incentive and rewards strategy to persuade them to post about your brand, a surprise and pleasure model works effectively. It displays that you not only value your clients but that you go out of your way to give them a unique experience that increases their favorable thoughts about your company while also causing serious FOMO.

Still not sure what's the best way to pay influencers?

Once you start with the campaign, the most important part is to take care of the fact that you have to pay the influencers on time. Your influencer may start demanding payment as soon as he/she winds up the campaign. In that case, working with a large number of influencers without the support of an influencer marketing agency becomes a challenging task for the marketing manager. 

But remember, you’re a marketer, not an accountant. 

You need to shift to a tool that can help you with managing your influencer payments and focus more on building the brand. Vouch is one such tool that helps you with bulk influencer payments without the need of signing up with any influencer agency.

Get to know more about how to manage influencer marketing campaigns with our blog - How to manage an influencer marketing campaign effectively?